For a change project to work, people have to see it, talk about it, and come and play. But how do we create that?
The more I do this work, the more I think the answer is… fun.
Fun is contagious. It destroys fear. It’s subversive (how many conservatives have a sense of humour?). It glues humans together. It’s brilliant medicine for the spirit. And it’s just the best ATTRACTOR…because everyone is already looking for it, all the time.
When we’re designing change projects we often ask “What do people NEED to KNOW?” But if we want to attract people, it’s good to ask: “What do people WANT to FEEL?” Or even better, get straight to the point and ask “How could we create delight or joy?”
The not-so-deep secret to making fun projects is to have fun when we’re making them!
Here is a fun project team… (hi Byron Bay scavengers).
Of course our issues are serious and urgent and we’re resource-poor and under pressure. That causes worry. And worry causes tunnel vision.
So we need some tricks to get back to wide spectrum thinking where our natural creativity can flourish.
Here’s some of the tricks we use in the Changeology Masterclass.
(By the way, never try to be creative alone! It doesn’t work. Really. Get some friends or colleagues. Then try some tricks.)
Trick #1 Mashups
Ask your team members to think of activities they passionately love to do (knitting, bicycling, singing, cooking, tennis, board games…). Then say “Now mash that into our project. What would it look like?” It’s amazing how productive this process is!
Trick #2 Rules
Brainstorm with special rules to encourage playfulness. For example: “You have a actual magic wand.” “You can break the laws of physics”. “You can only think of ideas your manager would reject.” This helps people go beyond safe ideas.
Trick #3 Tools
In the Changeology Masterclass we use some tools to help us get into a creative place.
Like this “6-dimensional enchanting event constructor“. It reminds us of the wide spectrum of ways we humans like to have fun.
Trick #4 An inspiration collection
Another good idea is to have an inspiring library of fun ideas that just keeps growing. Below are some of my favourite engaging ideas from my own collection.
Happy fun-making folks!